Nation grapples with dangers of climate change

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Nation grapples with dangers of climate change

Maria Echeverry

Maria Echeverry

Maria Echeverry

Story by Jamie Pellikaan, A&E Editor

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By the end of the century, the United States could face thousands of deaths, billions of lost dollars and an increased number of deadly weather patterns.

This is not a post-apocalyptic fantasy on TV, nor is it pure speculation into the future. This is the reality the United States faces if the failure to fully address man-made climate change continues.

A recent Congressional-mandated report detailed the scenario above as being the likely future America will face if lawmakers continue their current path of inaction.

Now, before discussing the details of what the report contained and just how negatively climate change affects the whole of America, a discussion into what is climate change is needed due to recent tweets by President Trump. Having stated that climate change is a hoax, President Trump questioned climate change as a reaction to cold temperatures over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Climate and weather are two separate changes. A bout of severe weather does not disprove the existence of climate change since it is demonstrated by long-term trends—which have illustrated a steady rise in the overall temperature for the past few years.

Climate change may seem like a far-off issue, something future generations will figure out. While this attitude may have been acceptable 50 years ago, recent events suggest otherwise. According to the report, Earth is already experiencing the effects climate change brings. The recent extremity in hurricanes and wildfires coupled with prolonged droughts are all due to climate change.

Moreover, the report also warns of increased health concerns due to climate change. According to the report, the Midwest will experience the most extreme rises in temperature, and this will cause 2,000 deaths a year by 2090. The report also states that no one’s health is immune to climate change, and allergies and asthma are expected to worsen as the Earth’s temperature rises.

However, for some lawmakers and Americans, the reasons above are not enough to change the way the United States gets energy and to end fossil fuel consumption. People still deny the existence of climate change–—despite the overwhelming scientific evidence—and will do everything in their power to stop laws preventing further damage to Earth. The only language they speak is money.

For example, President Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement citing it was damaging the United States’ economy with no benefits in return. It should also be noted that his cabinet is filled with former fossil-fuel lobbyists and the previous Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was the previous CEO of Exxon-Mobil. Money was the goal in mind—making a quick buck with little regards to the consequences.

If the United States continues to do nothing, then 10 percent of the current GDP will be lost by the end of this century.

If these lawmakers are so concerned about money, then they should be looking for ways to lessen the United States’ carbon dioxide emissions because that is what will save money, not refusing to invest in green energy.